The 25-year old Rapper, Cardi B at an interview with GQ shared some details of her life that she hasn’t spoken about before, she spoke on how her strict upbringing made her start craving the “wild path”.
“Here’s the thing,” begins Cardi. “I never really wanted to talk about that, because I always wanted a music deal. I always want to keep my endorsements. When I was 16 years old, I used to hang out with a lot of”—agonizing, cliff-diver pause—”Bloods. I used to pop off with my homies. And they’d say, ‘Yo, you really get it poppin’. You should come home. You should turn Blood.’ And I did. Yes, I did. And something that—it’s not like, oh, you leave. You don’t leave. Stripping,” which Cardi began at 19, “changed my life. When I was a stripper, I didn’t give a fuck about gangs, because I was so focused on making money.
“One thing I could say,” she continues, “you could ask any gang member: Being in a gang don’t make you not one dollar. And I know for a fact every gang member, he asking himself, ‘Why did I turn this?’ Sometimes it’s almost like a fraternity, a sorority. Sometimes it’s like that. And sometimes I see people that’s in the same gang kill each other. So sometimes there is no loyalty. Sometimes you gotta do certain things to get higher, to get higher and higher. You’re doing all of that and you not making money off of it. That’s why I don’t talk about it much. Because I wouldn’t want a young person, a young girl, to think it’s okay to join it. You could talk to somebody that is considered Big Homie and they will tell you: ‘Don’t join a gang.’ The person that I’m under, she would tell you, ‘Don’t join a gang.’ It’s not about violence. It’s just like—it doesn’t make your money. It doesn’t make your money. I rep it, because I been repping it for such a long time.”
What do you mean when you say “rep”?
“I always mention it, because it’s something that I been doing for a long time.”
Like being a Libra?
“Yeah, it’s like saying you’re a Libra. When I was younger, I used to go very hard. As I got older…you can do your own thing, but you always got to check in with your set. You don’t leave your people behind. They will understand I don’t be doing it because I’m an adult now. After you’re in your 20s, why would you join a gang? That’s something that you do when you’re young. I don’t even got to keep up communications. I keep communication because I’m used to it. There was a point when I was like 20, 21, 22…I was repping it, but I know that things change, Big Homies change, and I knew I had to check in again. It’s like almost like renewing your license. I kept repping something, [but] people was like, ‘Okay, but you’re not under the right person.’ So it’s like, ‘Okay, I gotta do it real right.’ You gotta get in the loop. If somebody was to tell me right now, ‘I want to join a gang,’ I would tell them that it’s a waste of your money, it’s a waste of your time. And then you can never leave it. Sometimes these people are gonna expect you to be at meetings when you have a job. You gotta be at work till 9:30 p.m., and you cannot go to a powwow because you at work. How you tell that to people? One of the laws in my set is that you always gotta have a job, you always gotta do something to contribute, to be right in the community. They want everybody to be successful. Nobody want to be in a group full of bums. Nobody want a group full of bums.”
What irks Cardi in particular, besides America’s youth wasting time and money in gangs, is the suggestion that she only adopted a Brim affiliation after she got a record deal, to toughen her image.
“People always be like, ‘Oh, Cardi never used to rep it when she wasn’t making music.’ Yeah, because I already got signed. I can do that now. I’m smarter than what people think. There’s so many things that I limited myself because I wanted a million-dollar contract. When I do interviews, I don’t talk about it, because I will lose my endorsements. But since the cat is out of the bag”—she throws up her small, barbecue-sauce-covered hands—”that’s how I feel. Why? For what? Why would you join a gang?”